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Finding Hope After Miscarriage

By: Cheryl Lynne Potter

It’s one of the worst experiences a woman can feel in a lifetime. Carrying a baby and then losing it, is a devastating experience. So often, the emotional scars outlasts the physical trauma.

Miscarriages, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is the most common type of pregnancy loss, in which a pregnancy ends on it’s own, usually within the first 20 weeks of gestation. Usually, miscarriages occur anywhere from 10 to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies. Most miscarriages, according to the American Pregnancy Association website, occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, which is also known as the first trimester. There are many reasons why a miscarriage occurs, but so often, the real cause remains a mystery. The most common cause of a miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association website, is Chromosomal Abnormality, meaning that something is wrong with the baby’s chromosomes. Most Chromosomal Abnormalities are due to such causes as a damaged egg or sperm cell or problems when the fertilized cell went through its divisions.

Yet, many women still believe the myth that their behavior had something to do with their pregnancy loss. Working, exercising, having sex or even using birth control before getting pregnant does not cause early pregnancy loss. However, health experts do agree that it’s best for a woman not to smoke, drink alcohol or do any type of illicit drugs while she’s pregnant. The American Pregnancy Association does offer these warning signs that you may be experiencing a miscarriage if you have any of these symptoms: 1. Mild to severe back pain that’s worse than normal menstrual cramps. 2. Weight loss. 3. Brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps. A small amount of bleeding and cramping in the early stages of pregnancies is quite common. Usually, the bleeding stops on its own and the pregnancy continues on normally. 4. True Contractions that are not only painful, but happen every 5 to 20 minutes and 5. A sudden decrease in the signs of pregnancy. If a pregnant woman has any of these symptoms, it’s best for them to get immediate medical attention from their doctor or obstetrician.

After a miscarriage, there’s bound to be a rollercoaster of emotions taking place, such as sadness and frequent crying, to bouts of anger, disbelief, guilt and depression. It’s important to keep the lines of communications open to family and friends who can help to get you through the grieving process.

When it comes to losing a baby, people react in many different ways, said Certified Registered Nurse, Ann Coyle, Manager of Perinatal Bereavement Programs at Virtua Hospital in Voorhees. “Some scream, curse and occasionally a dad will punch a wall, some shut down and don’t cry or say anything. Most react with crying, questioning, and confusion,” said Coyle, who runs the hospital’s Helping Other Parents in Normal Grief, better known as HOPING, that helps parents who have lost children from conception to one year’s of age. The program, said Coyle, helps to “connect families with other people who understand what they are going through and are willing to listen to anything they have to say.” The parents call the group, she said, “the group no one wants to belong to, but they are glad it's here when they need it!”

HOPING is open to anyone who has lost a child from conception through one year of life. The group meets on the 1st and 3,rd Monday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Barry Brown Health Education Center, 106 Carnie Boulevard in Voorhees. The group is free and no sign-up is required. For more information, Contact Ann Coyle, 609-502-7522 or www.virtua.orgl/services/pregnancy-and-infant-loss-support.


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